With the biggest problem being inadequate soak-off times and nail damage during subsequent forced gel removal, there are some things you can do to help expedite the soak-off process without compromising effectiveness.
1. Apply heat. A hot moist towel can be draped over the fingertips after they have been wrapped. Or you can put the client’s wrapped fingers and hands into plastic gloves, and then soak the plastic gloved hands in warm water. These techniques are reported to cut the soak-off time down by as much as a few minutes.
2. Break the seal of the top coat to help the soak-off solution penetrate all the way down to the nail plate. Note that not all gel-polish manufacturers require this, but taking a light grit file (180-grit) and gently removing the surface shine can help. Jim McConnell explains, “The glossy layer is shiny because it does not have many pores. Removing it helps the soak-off solution penetrate through the gel-polish.”
3. Do not apply the gel-polish too thickly. Gel-polish is meant to be a thin color coat similar to a traditional polish lacquer coat. The thicker the gel-polish, the longer you have to soak to properly remove.
4. Use the finger wrapping technique over soaking the nails in a bowl. Acetone does have a dehydrating effect on skin so you want to minimize the contact between the two as much as possible, which the wrapping method does. Plus, it allows you to check one nail and see if it the gel-polish is ready for removal while all the other fingers are still wrapped.
5. Be gentle. Remember that the gel-polish should come off very easily, and if you need to use an orangewood stick, it should be used gently to remove the gel-polish without prying or scraping.
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